Tuesday, 23 April 2013

The Economics of the Unemployed Wargamer

I have posted occasionally about the ongoing unemployment situation I am currently experiencing and how it has impacted on me - both personally and in the pursuit of my hobby. The job search is still ongoing and I am pursuing a number of alternative forms of employment - moving off at a tangent from my previous career in compliance and operational risk. I am sure that I will get another job in due course but it is proving to be an onerous struggle and to be honest, it does get me down on the odd occasion - usually when I have spent an exhausting day talking to recruitment agencies and getting nowhere.

I have been very fortunate in that my family have supported me and my partner has been an absolute rock in this respect. I am also fortunate in that the members of blogdom have provided me with much in the way of encouragement, support, advice and occasionally a good laugh as well.

There has also been a tangible benefit as well in that I have also been fortunate enough to have many gaming friends that have not only been generous with their time and support but also with selected unwanted material that has been passed on to me.

I am lucky, and I count my blessings in that respect.

As far as my hobby is concerned the last six months have been an object lesson in how to manage expectations. I have been able to invest in new items but only at the expense of trading out long dead project material. My library has has been downsized by about 40% and the proceeds turned into a variety of things for a number of projects. Luckily the projects I am working on - mostly naval but with the Middle Eastern project and some aerial stuff - are all at an advanced stage in terms of the material I have and so the need to buy in more kit has been greatly reduced.

My collection is now leaner and with this comes a degree of, for me, clarity of purpose. This is a rare experience for me and one that I am actually enjoying. Of course I will still get the odd 'ooh shiny' pang of wanting to splash the cash but I have now become very self controlled - even my partner has noticed this. Even at boot sales I have been restrained and with this comes a heightened awareness of the real value of things and whether or not I want them because I need them or because they are there.

Like I say, I am fortunate, blessed even.

16 comments:

Francis Lee said...

A damn good attitude to the situation David. I do hope that job is around the corner.

David Crook said...

Hi Fran,

Cheers old chap! One has to maintain one's stiff upper lip etc!

All the best,

DC

Peter Douglas said...

David

I had a spell on the dock between jobs about 15 years ago, and I remember what it's like.

Let's hope for a change in the future. I have always found that a wargamer's hobby time is inversely proportional to his or her income! Looking at your Fezian wars posts, it looks like making good use of your hobby time while it's there.

Cheers
PD

Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

There is a lot of truth in that old adage "less means more" wrt wargames and necessity is the mother of invention

The amount of wargame rules I have never played because I am waiting to complete an army is ridiculous (I should play them with cardboard counters first to lean the rules)

I understand with respect to the job hunting .. all I would say is that I was in a similar position three years back and I was advised to consider alternative careers (Project Management PRINCE2 versus my experience in the more "technical aspects£ of Computing [considered a young man's game]

However I followed my hunch of sticking with my expertise and building on what I was good at

I hope you can find a path suitable, remember a false start may take more time than a quick solution

Prufrock said...

Yes, great attitude. It's a tough gig, but no matter how difficult it seems, that job is still only a yes or two away. Best of luck!

Cheers,
Aaron

tradgardmastare said...

Thoughtful post David and a message for Lead mountain (in the shed) folk like me.I really must sort it ...one day!
best wishes
Alan

David Crook said...

Hi Alan,

I have a modest lead/plastic mountain - actually more like a large hill really - but for the first time in ages it is surmountable.

I do have an ideas mountain though, which is huge but again, is readily sourced FROM WHAT I HAVE!

All the best,

DC

David Crook said...

Hi Peter,

I have a number of irons in the fire on the job front so it is when rather than if.

The time I have spent on the hobby has been more productive simply because it has been a lot more focussed.

All will be well eventually!

All the best,

DC

David Crook said...

Hi Aaron,

I am sure it is but in the meantime I just need to keep on keeping on.

All the best,

DC

David Crook said...

Hi Geordie,

That is mainly why I persevered with the block armies!

I am at the stage in my career where I do not think I can progress any further and so a new challenge is really what I need. The alternate path will provide that but I am still looking in my old trade simply because A Job is better than No Job.

It is only a matter of time.

All the best,

DC

Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

Knowing what you want to do do and being happy with the path is key

Good Luck David

David Crook said...

Hi Geordie,

Many thanks - it has been a revelation knowing that he path is there in the first place!

Back to the job hunting and 1/2400th scale battleships - and then a truck load of ancient galleys!

All the best,

DC

George Martin said...

Hi DC,

Good luck with the job hunting, I will have all things crossed for your next interview.

And good luck with the painting hill, I'm up to 6 ships now so things are moving at apace here :)

Many thanks,

DC

David Crook said...

Hi George,

Thanks old chap - on both counts! I see the painting has picked up - well done and keep at it.

I must confess that I am really looking forward to the dreadnought section of the WW1 project but it will have to wait awhile as I have a few other matters to attend to.

All the best,

DC

 Ashley said...

Being four months into my unemployment experiential event, I'm with you on this one. The worst thing for me is that to some extent I have lost interest in my hobby, which was a way of dealing with work stress and having fun. Perhaps not having a job removes the context?

On the other side of the coin though, I've written 100,000 words this year, and perhaps my loss of interest in my hobby is down to putting all my creativity into my writing?

David Crook said...

Hi Ashley,

For me, the biggest thing about being unemployed is that whilst my interest in the hobby has not suffered - my 'oooh shiny' feelings have and so I am a lot more focussed (at least I think so - my painting table would tend to suggest otherwise!)on what i have.

I have written an awful lot as well.

All the best,

DC